Monday, June 18, 2018

Fish and Butterflies, and Life Updates

While Seattleites, Tacomans and their neighbors are experiencing a heatwave here and now, let me take you a week back in time when we were still in the mild mid 60s F with some raindrops thrown in for good measure here and there. Such weather was perfect to take my fish dress for another outing - so she wouldn't feel abandoned after her trip to Washington DC last month... besides, I promised you then to talk about my travel wardrobe! (HERE)

The dress is by Eloquii, from their last year Spring/Summer collection. I think it's sold out by now, but if you're looking for a fun, bold, fashion forward and a little unexpected plus size dress, I highly recommend you to look at their site. It's been one of my favorite PS brands for the last couple of years. This dress boasts a whimsical print, colors and wonderful details. I love the row of little buttons up front, and the high elasticized collar which sometimes I wear open. I chose it for my plane trip because it's modest enough for an official setting, yet far from boring, and additional bonuses - it is extremely lightweight, takes very little room when folded (we only had carry-on baggage with us) and practically does not wrinkle at all. The dress always gets compliments and the good kind of attention, I think the colorful fish are just irresistible and really unexpected!

As luck would have it, I had just the right accessories for this unusual dress! The enamel fish earrings were thrifted, and an obi-inspired belt I have had for ages, though I don't think I have worn it before. To tell the truth, I've never been a fan of belts (though I admit that a belt can elevate style) - I find them stifling in the long run, so I took this belt off almost as soon as I finished pictures. 

 Just yesterday, we celebrated Father's Day here in the US, and I posted about the main men in my life, my golden boys as I call them, on my Instagram and Facebook. Sometimes, we get so tangled up with our everyday life that we forget about what's really important - not to blame ourselves, because for most of us it's a natural tendency to take what's good in our life for granted. That's why such holidays matter - they can help us stop and think, not as in remembering, but rather as in feeling the appreciation for the love that we have. I am quite a thoughtful and sensitive person, but I too sometimes "forget" to be appreciative. But there is plenty to be grateful for! I am extremely blessed with these most wonderful men - my father Mikhail, my grandfather Aleksei, my brother Andrei and my one and only true love Justin, all of whom are wonderful fathers. I think that the deep sense of peace that I carry within comes from these four exceptionally rare men. I posted a little piece of writing in their honor yesterday, but each of them deserves a book dedicated to them.

Let's see, what else was happening in our household lately. First of all, it's finally the end of another school year. Anya got straight As for her grades, top 2 in her class. Smart kid! On the other hand, after a year in art school, she is not sure she wants to continue her education there, which came as a bit of a shock to us, I must admit, after all these years focusing on arts and creativity, but it's her life, and she really is a bright and multifaceted person who can thrive in any field of her choice - we are confident about it. But first, Summer break! All I want to do this summer, to spend more time outdoors, taking full advantage of our Washington State Parks Discover Pass, and reorganizing the house. Speaking of which... Justin and I got some new bookshelves much needed for his extended book collection, and we're trying to reorganize some home space, with enthusiastic help from our cats. I know that IKEA gets a bad rep sometimes, but for us, with our budget and rather nomadic lifestyle, it works fine. This bookcase is from their Hemnes series - made of solid pine, with a country feel to it, and the white stain really brightens up our cozy, but a tad too dark cottage, and mixed with a few vintage pieces, it looks rather charming in our old place.

I'm becoming quite an accomplished home cook if I may say so myself. I'm not professional, and I would never want to be (though, a thought of writing a cook book did cross my mind once or twice), but I love learning and experimenting, and with time, all these experiments accumulate into knowledge and experience. My newest achievement is the perfection of Indian inspired cauliflower curry.

On the writing news, I gifted my books to children in a small village in Botswana, Africa, and it feels almost unreal! I wrote about it HERE (in English and Russian). It isn't an accomplishment as such, no need to congratulate me or anything, but rather an exciting adventure on which my writing journey took me completely unexpectedly! I rarely share my writing news with you, but another little development is that I started rewriting one of my old stories which felt like a dead-end for a long time, and yet one morning I woke up with a glimpse of an idea, and wrote the whole day without stopping (which is a writer's dream, really). 

It's becoming increasingly easier to find our books! There are even more online sources available, including Amazon (in a few different countries and continents); Barnes & Noble; Thrift Books, etc. We also continue working with independent local bookshops. More about the unique, beautiful and soulful children's books which I work on in collaboration with my amazing creative team - my brother Andrei and my husband Justin - HERE.

The weather got significantly hotter in the last couple of days (90 F today), so I ironed a few summer dresses and such - you can see the theme forming here, can't you? I really don't know how it happened - I definitely did not plan it consciously. It's a mix of old, new and newly thrifted which I plan to mix and match for fun outfits all summer long!

No more words - straight to the pictures of the second part of my rainy day outfit. I guess the kind of Japanese vibe (obi belt, fish in koi pond...) made me think of this thrifted knitted coat (or cardigan) in minimalistic lines. And somehow I thought of the yellow umbrella, and then butterflies (thrifted pins) landed on my shoulder, with a soft whisper of a new story...

Sparkly shoes on my feet - and I was out the door for a day of IKEA adventuring! I know that it will seem too much for some fashion lovers, but I'm a storyteller and adventurer, and this unexpected mix is just right for me!

Dress - Eloquii (last year)
Cardigan/coat, enamel earrings and pins - thrifted via Goodwill
Clutch - thrifted via ThreadUp
Shoes (by AGL), umbrella, obi belt - old
Glasses - Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant (old)

Linking with Visible Monday

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  1. Srsly, u are so cute. I love that fish print dress, jacket, all of it.

  2. Oh yes It is right for you! Gorgeous Natalia. I love the fish print, it is an amazing dress. And you have the perfect earrings, wonderful match.
    You tell wonderful writer news. Congratulations.
    And Anya go a good way you will see. She is a diligent girl ;)
    Ikea Hemnes we bought for Sarahs sleepingroom, it is a good choice on budget I think. By the way, my kitchen is Ikea ;)
    I hate heat waves you know, but your iron dresses, skirts etc. look nice.
    Have a good week Natalia, huge hug and much love Tina

  3. Natalia I really love the fish print on your dress , so much fun and the black and white coat is perfect. You are a brilliant story teller, both in your written words and your self expression through your clothing choices. Congratulations to Anya , enjoy the Summer break together. xxx

  4. Bardzo ładna sukienka i fajny sweter:))uwielbiam broszki a te z motylkami śliczne:))ostatnio coraz częściej zakładam balerinki:))))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:))

    1. I started wearing ballet shoes more often recently. Thank you, Renia!

  5. Fish and butterflies! I love your look, so lively and YOU. Your tribute to the men in your life was touching, and I had a little cry remembering my dad, gone 13 years. Thanks for sharing this with Vis Monday, xo


    1. Thank you for sharing this vulnerable moment, Patti!

  6. That was a lovely post, Natalia!
    So pleased for Anya and how wonderful that you donated some of your books to the needy.
    The curry looks delicious.
    Love the fish print dress and that fabulous umbrella. Like you, I'm not mad keen on belt either, a bit too trussed up and restricting although they do add a certain something to an outfit shot. xxx

    1. Thanks Vix! I often start with wearing accessories, then take them off a couple of hours later!

  7. You look wonderful in your oriental outfit. That dress is so beautiful, I just love the Asian fish print. The belt complements the dress perfectly and the earrings are just a dreamy match with it, aren't they? I like the minimalist coat you choose to match your dress. The yellow clutch and the ballerina flats are lovely choices as well. Such a pretty outfit!

    I don't celebrate father's day but maybe I should start. It is a wonderful holiday. We often talk about mothers and we forget how much fathers (and other men) contribute to our lives. I feel like today we have this tendency to see men in a more negative light, I don't mean everyone, but just society in general often portrays the men as bad guys, and perhaps on an unconscious level it makes us praise men in our lives less, which is definitely not fair. So, having a holiday when we can talk all the men in our life is definitely a great idea!

    Congrats on your daughter's scholarly success! My nephew also turned out to be an A student. :)

    1. Thank you, Ivana! You are, as always, very thoughtful. Men, just as women, deserve to be honored!

  8. What a fabulous style this is on you Natalia. I absolutely adore the fish print and the matching earrings in enamel! I love how you switched it up with that fabulos umbrella and gorgeous coat. Yes to the golden men in our lives and to Anya’s wonderful grades this year !

    1. Thank you, dear! She is an A student every year, I guess I don't write much about her. :)

  9. natalia!! sorry that i´m late to the party - will write why in email....
    totally love your outfit! with all the fabulous details - stylish shoes, elegant bag, perfect belt, super chic earrings, gorgeous coat and brooches, sweet umbrella - and the wonderful dress!!
    congrats to anya - such a cool and smart girl! and your cat looks like a big helper with the book shelf - such a sweety!
    R. did show me your facebook post about the men in your life - so heartwarming! <3 <3 <3
    oh - and i take the curry - extra big portion please :-D

    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the outfit and the post, my dear! Will make my curry when you visit! <3

  10. I love your dress, such an amazing print, colorful fishes!, and its shape is also fabulous!. You look gorgeous in it!, and love the coat and the accessories you chose! so elegant and stylish!
    Your curry looks delightful!

  11. What a divine dress that is, Natalia. And fish combined with butterflies: why not. It really makes for a captivating outfit. Well done, Anya, and I'm sure she'll get lots of support and encouragement, whichever route she chooses! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann! It's so delightful and touching to see children choosing their paths in life... I firmly believe that we as parents are here to support whatever decision feels right to them at a moment. <3

  12. Gosh the dress is so amazing, I love the print so much.
    Fishes are so amazing animals and the color combination simply perfect.
    You look amazing my dear.